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[464] say that I think can interest you. I know that nothing can prevent you from being interested in the fate of a country that you have loved so long, and to which you intrust a posterity dearer to you than life. That we shall not be utterly ruined, I trust and believe. If we have offended against Heaven as a nation in many ways, I hope that we are not cast off altogether; and that your children and mine may continue to find a resting-place here, which—with trials, indeed, but not severer than they will profit by—may yet give them and theirs the resources needful for happiness and improvement. But it will not be the same country that you and I have lived in. As Dr. Bowditch said to me, above thirty years ago, in a manner so impressive that I remember the spot where we stood, and rarely pass it without recalling the circumstance, ‘We are living in the best days of the republic. That the worst will follow soon does not seem to me very likely. But nations advance, and thrive, and die, like men; and can no more have a second youth than their inhabitants can.’

Since I have been writing, Mr. Minot has been in to tell me that he has had a letter from you to-day, and answered it. He seems in good health, quite as good as he enjoyed when he was with you last summer. But his spirits are probably less bright. The cold weather is not a refreshment to him as it is to me; and he is saddened, I can see, by your illness. He feels as I did, when Dr. Hayward, my old playmate, was taken away, that my turn may come next. Proximus ardet Ucalegon. My neighbor's house is gone, and the conflagration must reach mine very soon. . . . .

I have still enough to do to keep me contented, and to encourage me to work on. I hope, as long as I have strength, that I shall never be in want of occupation for others. Old people, I think, take little pleasure in working for themselves. . . . .

Believe me always faithfully and affectionately yours,

To Robert H. Gardiner, Esq., Gardiner.

Boston, January 14, 1864.
my dear Mr. Gardiner,—We receive constantly the most gratifying accounts of your condition, in whatever, at this stage of your progress onwards, is important and consoling. But when I turn to tell you so, and put pen to paper, even in answer to your pleasant letter of last week, I stop and hesitate what I shall say. It seems as if the words that have to travel so far, along with the every-day business

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